Saturday, December 30, 2006

For Joe Gallien and Zachriel; who's the momma's boy?

I note Joseph/JoeG and Zachriel conducting a shouting match from here and here. This neutral venue was set up to allow anyone to participate in a discussion without fear of arbitrary moderation. So I cordially invite Joe and Zachriel to post here if they wish. (No incitement to commit crime, obscenity or spam permitted, otherwise this is a moderation-free zone.)

91 comments:

Alan Fox said...

Invite I posted at Joe's blog:

Joe

If you are seriously interested in debating Zachriel in a neutral venue, where neither of you can be accused of using moderation unfairly, you may like to post here. I am posting the same invitation to Zachriel.

PS

John might be prepared to confirm my moderation policy, as he has had experience of it, and is still posting at my blog.

Alan Fox said...

To Zachriel's Blog:

alan fox said...

Hi Zachriel

I set up a thread for you and Joe Gallien to enable you to "talk" directly if you wish. I posted an invitation to Joe and I this is to extend you the same invitation.

Alan

12/30/2006 7:31 AM

Zachriel said...

Hi Alan, I appreciate the opportunity to participate.

In order to understand the evidence in support of the Theory of Common Descent, it is necessary to understand each of these concepts: set, nested (or containment) hierarchy, categorization, and independently derived traits. Only then can we make sense of why scientists since Darwin consider the details of phylogenetics such convincing evidence of Common Descent. Darwin explained in Origin of Species how the nested hierarchy is predicted by the Theory of Common Descent. There have been over forty threads on Joe's blog, Intelligent Reasoning, conducted over a period of months concerning the nested hierarchy.

As a primary evidence in support of the Theory of Common Descent is the nested hierarchy, and as Joe has made a point of blogging repeatedly on the subject, it would behoove us to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of this important set pattern. Darwin doesn't use the modern mathematical term, "nested hierarchy", but simply refers to it as "groups subordinate to groups", and he shows these relationships with the only diagram in Origin of Species.

Joe has claimed that “a nested hierarchy is not an expected outcome of Common Descent”. However, if lines are not crossed, then the pattern of descent (though not necessarily morphological or genetic traits) will form a nested hierarchy. This is plain from Darwin’s own diagram. I will discuss the question of traits later. In modern terms, we define the nested hierarchy in terms of sets.

A nested hierarchy is an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

A set, of course, is a collection of elements treated as a whole. We can group elements into sets in any manner we choose, but we generally have a rule for doing so in mind. For instance, we might put all the oranges in one box, and all the apples in another. Or we might group males by paternity, a common arrangement important for the inheritance of power and wealth in many cultures. Another common example is a military hierarchy by command. Or books in a library by subject. Or motorized vehicles by make and model. Or twigs on a tree by branch. Or organisms by their morphological traits.

Choosing the way we categorize items is important to the next phase of our discussion. But I want to make sure we are clear on this so far.

Zachriel said...

Concerning the paternal family tree which seems to have caused Joe such consternation. I have defined the sets of interest thusly.

Claim: sons (set of male descendents) of Abdullah form a nested hierarchy (by paternity).

Sons of Abdullah = {Neyef, Talal, Hussein I, Muhammad, El Hassan, Abdullah, Ali, Faisal, Hashim, Hamzah}
Sons of Talal = {Hussein I, Muhammad, El Hassan, Abdullah, Ali, Faisal, Hashim, Hamzah}
Sons of Hussein I = {Abdullah, Ali, Faisal, Hashim, Hamzah}
Sons of each other element = empty set

Each set is a proper subset of its superset, e.g. every element of the Sons of Talal is also an element in the Sons of Abdullah. E.g., Hashim is an element of Sons of Talal and Sons of Abdullah, but no other set that is not within the line-of-descent. This satisfies the definition of nested hierarchy.

(Please note that even after posting this explanation for Joe several times, and even listing the elements of each set, he still doesn't realize that "Sons of" refers to ALL male descendents.)

Zachriel said...

If it would be easier, Joe, just replace "Sons of" with "Set of ALL male descendents of".

blipey said...

Joe, while giving up on defending his laughable assertion that paternal trees are not NHs because people have fathers, has now said NHs absolutely MUST be structured according to multiple criteria.

Huh?

Zachriel said...

Joe is being less than straightforward again. He quotes Prof. Allen and adds a note.

"The ordering of levels: there are several criteria whereby other levels reside above lower levels."
Note the words "several criteria".


But the full quote is as follows:

"The ordering of levels: there are several criteria whereby other levels reside above lower levels. These criteria often run in parallel, but sometimes only one or a few of them apply."

Note the words "only one or a few".

Zachriel said...

Also, in the material cited by Joe from Prof. Allen,

"There is no physical reason for mammals having five digits on their hands and feet, because it comes not from physical limits, but from the constraints of having a mammal heritage."

Arden Chatfield said...

The big question of the day: Will Mr. Gallien be too cowardly to show up and defend his ideas in a forum which he doesn't control, and where he can't banish his opponents?

blipey said...

Not that big a question, I don't think. He has already run once, why stop now? He doesn't even continue threads at his own blog.

Arden Chatfield said...

Are we pretty sure he knows about this?

Zachriel said...

arden chatfield: "Are we pretty sure he knows about this?"

From Another note for Zachriel

alan fox: "If you are seriously interested in debating Zachriel in a neutral venue, where neither of you can be accused of using moderation unfairly, you may like to post here. I am posting the same invitation to Zachriel."

joe g: "Thanks but all I am seriously interested in is for Zachriel to substantiate his claim that nested hierarchy is an expectation (ie a prediction) of the theory of evolution. And he can do so in the proper thread on my blog. I have nothing more to say until I see that presentation."

...

alan fox: "The text and diagram is from "Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin."

joe g: "Read it. I noticed he didn't substantiate any of his claims."

blipey said...

Oh, pretty sure.

And not coming.

Zachriel said...

Joe adds, "I really don't care about your opinion Alan."

Zachriel said...

Joe quoting: "the data suggest that eukaryote cells with all their bells and whistles are probably as ancient as bacteria and archaea, and may have even appeared first, with bacteria and archaea appearing later as stripped-down versions of eukaryotes, according to David Penny, a molecular biologist at Massey University in New Zealand."


Comments by Zachriel on Joe's blog:

May 2006: "The nested hierarchy doesn't necessarily apply to the evolution of eukaryotes, hence common descent may not be the appropriate model, but perhaps endosymbiosis".

July 2006: "And, in fact, the Theory of Common Descent may not properly apply the origin and diversification of cellular life. However, the evidence strongly indicates that vertebrates share a common ancestry. Do you deny the scientific evidence for the common ancestry of mammals, for instance?"

September 2006: "Common Descent may not apply to bacteria, nor would we expect bacteria to evolve into Great Danes during the normal course of human observation."

November 2006: "Modern bacteria are highly evolved organisms with billions of years of prior history. The common ancestor of life on Earth today may or may not have resembled bacteria. The Theory of Common Descent may not properly apply to the origin of cellular life, where some sort of endosymbiosis may have been involved."

So why do continue to misrepresent both my own views and the Theory of Common Descent as you do in your strawman "conditions"? I am under no compulsion to comment on your blog. From your refusal to leave the safety of your own moderation, it's apparent that you can't support your assertions, and that you put 'winning' an argument over discovering the truth.

After weeks of the back-and-forth, I realized that you didn't understand the basics of how set construction, much less taxonomies. So that is where we are.

Arden Chatfield said...

Joseph, we can assume you're reading this. Why are you so afraid?

If your ideas are valid, you should be able to defend them in an open, neutral forum, no? So what's the problem?

C'mon, act like a grownup, Joseph.

keiths said...

Cowardly Joe has already deleted a comment of mine (my second comment at his blog), so I can see, as all of you have already figured out, that there's no sense in continuing to comment there.

Hilariously, he managed to contradict himself a couple of times within the space of a day.

The condensed version:

KeithS: That website you quoted cites an army as an example of a nested hierarchy. But an army is just like a paternal family tree. (Explains why).

Jofus: But in an army a private can climb the ranks. In a family, once the son of X, always the son of X. (Then proceeds to the following disjointed and incoherent point): If we had a room full of Army personnel someone could put them order by rank. But if we had a room full of several generations of a family, you would be hard-pressed to sort them into the right categories.

[Jofus, since you're reading this, let me explain a few things to you:

1. Ordering a set of soldiers by rank does not give you a nested hierarchy. To get that, you need to know who reports to whom, not simply who outranks whom.

2. To recreate the family's nested hierarchy, you would likewise need to know who was the son or daughter of whom.

3. Neither one of the hierarchies could be recreated without the additional information.

4. In both cases, you'd simply have to get each person to answer one question, and then you'd be able to reconstruct the hierarchy.

So what's the difference, Jofus? ]

KeithS (incredulously, focusing on the first tardity about privates moving up the ranks): So you're saying that the mobility of elements is a defining characteristic of a nested hierarchy? Even the website you're quoting doesn't say that.

Jofus: (deletes KeithS's comment).

Jofus, in a new post:
With a paternal family tree the sets are determined by ONE AND ONLY ONE criterion- "who's your daddy?" (Then quotes some definitions from the other website, focusing on the plurals).

Note the word "properties".
Note the words "set of definitions"
Note the words "several criteria".

[Okay, Jofus, now you're saying that a nested hierarchy is necessarily based on more than one property or criterion. So yesterday an army was a nested hierarchy. Today it's not, because the army hierarchy depends on only one criterion: who reports to whom.

Think, Jofus, think! It gets easier with practice. ]

Zachriel, I've decided that you committed a horrific evil in a previous life, and that your penance is to educate JoeG in this one.

Zachriel said...

1. Quite right. I meant to mention that.
2. With the proviso that the paternal and maternal hierarchies must be treated separately. A complete family tree is a *network* of interconnections between families and is not a nested hierarchy.

keiths: "so I can see, as all of you have already figured out, that there's no sense in continuing to comment there."

Even if someone is wrong or disagrees with the moderator, their positive contributions to a discussion should be recognized and encouraged. I am wrong often enough, and I look at those occasions as opportunities to learn.

keiths: "Zachriel, I've decided that you committed a horrific evil in a previous life, and that your penance is to educate JoeG in this one."

Not quite.

--
Zachriel, angel that rules over memory, presides over the planet Jupiter.
Member AMF, Angelic Motive Force
Pushing planets on celestial spheres — one epoch at a time.
http://zachriel.blogspot.com/

Zachriel said...

On #1, The funny thing is that I think Joe actually would understand that. I think he also knows that lying is wrong, but will dissemble rather than admit error. I just don't think it's that important to him whether he is right or not, so he doesn't really think these issues through in any sort of detail. Besides, he already knows he's right, so why bother?

In a conversation with Prof. Allen there is one point on the military hierarchy that he wanted to make clear. "A general does not consist of, nor is derivable from the army". Meaning Gen. George Pickett was not a division, though there was a Pickett's Division. Pickett's Division was a nested hierarchy, and itself was contained within the nested hierarchy of the Army of Northern Virginia. But Gen. George Pickett was just one element of that set.

Anonymous said...

This is why I had Steve create a thread on AtBC for Joe to respond. There's no point in trying to have a discussion on a blog whose operator will a) take hours to let your post appear and b) probably won't even let your post appear then. Why do any work only to let some dimbulb like JoeG--who is dumb even compared to the average Uncommon Descent poster--throw your work away?

-Larry Falafararalafalaleraman

Zachriel said...

keiths: Are you seriously suggesting that the mobility of elements is a defining characteristic of a nested hierarchy?

joe g: "That is what the rules I posted state."

A given entity may belong to any number of levels, depending on the criteria used to link levels above and below.

No, Joe. That's not what it means. It means that a soldier is an element in his platoon, his company, his battalion. It means a mouse is an element in the mammal set, the vertebrate set, the eukaryote set. It has nothing to do with mobility.

I see you are still afraid to leave the confines of your moderation.

Zachriel said...

blipey: Hierarchies don't HAVE to have a multitude of criteria, Joe. They can, but don't have to.

joe g: "According to the rules, they do."

I already pointed this out to you. "The ordering of levels: there are several criteria whereby other levels reside above lower levels. These criteria often run in parallel, but sometimes only one or a few of them apply."

This has to do with taxonomy, by the way. Because you have such difficulty with this, I suggested a simple and standard definition to which you agreed, saying "EXACTLY!". A nested hierarchy is an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

I see you are still afraid to leave the confines of your moderation wall.

Zachriel said...

You're still confusing the limited issue of the nested hierarchy as a set pattern with categorization. Please note that the writer specifically is talking about "Biological classification" while blipey is making reference to nested hierarchies as a general set pattern.

Even then, I already pointed this out to you. "The ordering of levels: there are several criteria whereby other levels reside above lower levels. These criteria often run in parallel, but sometimes only one or a few of them apply."

That is, in order to create a biological systems of classification, the characteristics to distinguish between horses and cows will be different than the characteristics to distinguish between flowers and ferns. However, at any one level within the classification scheme, it may only require a single distinguishing feature. But our discussion has not reached this point yet. You are still stuck on sets.

I also see you are still afraid to venture beyond your moderation wall.

Zachriel said...

Joe: Science refutes the premise that nested hierarchy is a prediction of the ToE

Author of the study Joe cites, David Penny says, "All organisms carry their history in their genes," is "actively interested in a wide range of evolutionary questions" and has published a large number of papers on evolution, including confirming common descent for a number of taxa such as mammals.

Penny, et. al.: "Testing the theory of evolution by comparing phylogenetic trees constructed from five different protein sequences: The theory of evolution predicts that similar phylogenetic trees should be obtained from different sets of character data. We have tested this prediction using sequence data for 5 proteins from 11 species. Our results are consistent with the theory of evolution."

The nested hierarchy is an observation that applies at least somewhat to most taxa of living organisms. However, it does not apparently apply to the origin of cellular life where some sort of endosymbiosis may have occurred. By the way, Darwin didn't assert that all life shared a common ancestor. The evidence was too scant to reach any conclusions.

Darwin (last sentence of Origin of Species): "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

Comments by Zachriel on Joe's blog

I see you are still afraid to leave the confines of your moderation wall. I don't mind responding here, but you have to make clear in your posts that that is what you are doing. Responding to my comments without quoting them and linking to them is being less than honest to your readers. And this double-posting is just plain silly.

Thanks!

Zachriel said...

joe g: "Dumba$$ Zachriel now singles out 'only one or a few of them apply'."

Now? I've pointed it out several times.

joe g: "I will leave my blog and debate you face to face, in a public forum."

Alan has graciously offered such a forum. See you there.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "Nested Hierarchy a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

Well, I'll take the con side, then.

May 2006: "The nested hierarchy doesn't necessarily apply to the evolution of eukaryotes, hence common descent may not be the appropriate model, but perhaps endosymbiosis".

July 2006: "And, in fact, the Theory of Common Descent may not properly apply the origin and diversification of cellular life. However, the evidence strongly indicates that vertebrates share a common ancestry. Do you deny the scientific evidence for the common ancestry of mammals, for instance?"

September 2006: "Common Descent may not apply to bacteria, nor would we expect bacteria to evolve into Great Danes during the normal course of human observation."

November 2006: "Modern bacteria are highly evolved organisms with billions of years of prior history. The common ancestor of life on Earth today may or may not have resembled bacteria. The Theory of Common Descent may not properly apply to the origin of cellular life, where some sort of endosymbiosis may have been involved."

--

By the way, on your latest cites .

Lynn Margolis says, "Darwin correctly inferred that life 'descended with modification' from common ancestors."

Rokas, et. al. say "the phylogenetic relationships among most metazoan phyla remain uncertain", but the phylogenetic history of deuterostomes is "well-resolved".

Zachriel said...

Joe's note to Alan Fox: setting up a debate

joe g: "1) When you set up a debate you have to make sure only the participants and perhaps a moderator can post in that thread."

I see no reason to exclude others from the discussion. But whatever.

joe g: "2) A topic must be decided on. For example- Nested Hierarchy a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

I'll take the con-side, as I indicated. (How long are you going to beat on that strawman? It goes back to at least May 2006.)

joe g: "3) A format must be decided on- for example each person submits an opening essay that defends and substantiates their position. Each person then gets a chance to respond to the other person's opening. And then perhaps each would get a closing statement/essy."

That's easy. You take the lead. Make an assertion. Work through your argument slowly. Use clearly defined terms. Try to avoid propping up the same old strawman. And be willing to answer questions.

Is this a set: Sons (all male descendents) of Abdullah = {Neyef, Talal, Hussein I, Muhammad, El Hassan, Abdullah, Ali, Faisal, Hashim, Hamzah}. Of course it is!

Zachriel said...

After reading Joe's Formal Debate Section, I realize how unproductive such a format can be. I also note how unpersuasive and unenlightening his arguments were; full of quote-mines, references to poorly defined terms, contesting points not at issue, and the same tired arguments he blogs on. I couldn't even find "prediction" anywhere in his essay on "What is Science". The exercise resulted in no significant discussion. Boring!

I think an open discussion would be far more productive. If Joe wants to only post on his blog, that's fine. But if he is not going to allow my comments on his blog, but he's going to argue with me anyway, I would appreciate if he would provide the appropriate quote and link to what he is referencing.

Zachriel said...

Funny! As Joe won't publish my comments, nor link to them at Alan's Neutral Venue where I've been xposting them, or even quote them, it looks like he is arguing with himself!

Joe: It so!
Joe: Is not!
Joe: Is so!

It's especially funny because Joe keeps quoting scientists who have expert opinions contrary to his.

(Xposted to AtBC)

Zachriel said...

joe g: "2) A topic must be decided on. For example- Nested Hierarchy a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

Joe repeats his strawman. I have already responded several times on his blog over a period of months, and more than once just on this thread (and posted to his own blog so I was sure he would see it).

joe g: "Look the theory of evolution doesn't predict vertebrates and it doesn't predict metazoans."

Vertebrates are an observable, as are the 'odd' correlations of characteristics that is implied in being a vertebrate.

joe g: "But now that Zachriel has weaseled his way out of a debate, by switching sides, all points are moot."

You don't listen well.

May 2006: "The nested hierarchy doesn't necessarily apply to the evolution of eukaryotes, hence common descent may not be the appropriate model, but perhaps endosymbiosis".

As this statement contradicts the statement "Nested Hierarchy a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms", my position would be contrary and has been contrary, as documented above.

Alan Fox said...

Happy New Year everyone. I just posted this on Joe Gallien's blog.

Happy New Year, Joe.

Life intervenes, so excuse late and brief comment.

It seems to me the more formal rules you include, the less likely it is any free exchange of ideas will occur. I am especially reluctant to restrict access or exercise more than the minimum moderation possible.

Having said that, if you and Zachriel both want to submit guest posts, I will agree that only posts from Zachriel will be allowed on your thread. Zachriel can decide if he wants a similar restriction on his thread (assuming that this is a way to proceed).


His latest thread indicates Joe is not interested, but we'll see.

JohnADavison said...

The truth is not to be debated. Once disclosed it is transparent and requires only to be recognized.

"A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
John A. Davison

Zachriel said...

Joe G: "Another fact is that the theory of evolution does NOT predict vertebrates. It does not predict metazoans and it does not predict there would be organisms who could study and ponder the universe."

And the Theory of Gravity doesn't predict there will be an Earth and Sun, or that people would launch artificial satellites. But the Theory of Gravity does predict the motions of these bodies.

All scientific theories work within limited domains and make limited predictions. The Theory of Evolution does not pretend to tell us how life began (though it is a subject of study). It does seek to understand how various organisms have evolved, including humans. The evidence indicates that many aspects of biological evolution and planetary evolution is stochastic and contingent.

There is no scientific evidence of meaning or purpose in evolution or in gravity. The Earth is not the physical center of God's Creation. Meaning and purpose are something humans bring to the table.

joe g: "That vertebrates are observed is meaningless."

That statement just demonstrates the vacuity of your position. Any valid scientific theory must be consistent with the evidence. The Theory of Common Descent is consistent with the evolution and diversification of vertebrates over geological time.

joe g: "BTW Zachriel, humans are eukaryotes. And if one can't make a nested hierarchy out of our alleged single-celled ancestors why would one expect to be able to make one from their descendants?"

Eukaryotes are highly evolved organisms, even the single-celled variety. Not "ALL living organisms" are eukaryotes, and there is substantial genetic evidence that eukaryotes themselves evolved from simpler organisms. In any case, as we go further back in time, the evidence becomes more-and-more tenuous. It would make sense to try and determine what can be determined most easily from the evidence. Demonstrating the common descent of vertebrates would fairly well establish the pattern back a few hundred million years. Once you satisify yourself on this point, we can quibble over eukaryotes.

Darwin established the predictive framework in Origin of Species. His is a great instance of scientific thinking, albeit dated by the great advances in science since that time.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: If life descended from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern. Contrariwise, if life was designed, we would expect substantial violations of any nested hierarchy. In fact, for metazoans, we see a clear nested hierarchy. A nested hierarchy of morphology, embryonics, fossils, and genomes.

joe g: "But since then he has changed his tune."

Apparently, you don't read to understand. The snippet you quoted used the word "If", which was then followed by a claim concerning metazoans — not "ALL living organisms". My position has been consistent.

joe g: "However Zachriel failed to realize that humans are eukaryotes"

As humans are mammals, that implies humans are eukaryotes, meaning (among other things) that they have complex cells with organelles and a nucleus.

After months of reading my posts, you can't seriously believe that is my position. Is 'winning' an argument so important to you that the truth ceases to matter?

Zachriel said...

I was reading the post from back in May 2006.

Zachriel: If life descended from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern.

Joe: For reasons already given we know that is false.

And that's where we are and have been. If life descended (on uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern based on descent. Joe, pretend we watch every single instance of divergence. Each divergence forms a proper subset and can be diagrammed as a tree. Whether this pattern would be discernable through taxonomy is another matter, and one worthy of a discussion. But as long as Joe continues with this assertion, there is no possibility of progress. All I can do is keep pointing out why he is wrong.



--
A nested hierarchy is an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

joe g: "EXACTLY! "

Zachriel said...

By the way, Joe, thanks for providing the link above when quoting me.

Zachriel said...

But I note that you haven't told your readers where to find my responses.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "And just so that everyone is clear, the following was Zachriel's position before reality smacked him upside his head.

Zachriel said: If life descended from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern.

joe g: "Then once reality smacked him upside his head he switched to (in the same thread):"

Zachriel: The nested hierarchy doesn't necessarily apply to the evolution of eukaryotes, hence common descent may not be the appropriate model, but perhaps endosymbiosis.
"

--

Come on Joe. I already mentioned above that you provided an incomplete quote. The word "If" is crucial to understanding the full statement, and that the positive claim concerned metazoans. Here it is again:

Zachriel: "If life descended from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern. Contrariwise, if life was designed, we would expect substantial violations of any nested hierarchy. In fact, for metazoans, we see a clear nested hierarchy. A nested hierarchy of morphology, embryonics, fossils, and genomes."

More importantly, you know darn well that was never my position — or you just don't care to find out, preferring to remember your strawman. Here is my statement to you from the previous month.

Zachriel April 2006: "The early evolution of eukaryotes is still only partly understood, though current evidence strongly indicates endosymbiosis. Try to start with something simple, like the Common Descent of eukaryotes or vertebrates."

joe g: "However if NH doesn't apply to the evolution of eukaryotes- basically all life excluding prokaryotes and viruses (if you consider viruses as life)- then what does it apply to?"

This reveals your basic misunderstanding of biology and your unfortunate Eukaryo-centrism. Most life is prokaryotic. Bacteria rule! I have already suggested dealing with the evidence for vertebrate evolution. They do tend to leave fossils.

But I have little hope that you are willing to discuss this honestly and openly. Imagine. I made those statements months ago, and you still haven't digested them.

Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zachriel said...

Um. I'm sure our friendly biochemist, Larry Moran of Sandwalk, would want us to remember our fellow domain, Archaea. Joe, if you follow the link (1 of 6 articles thus far), you will find substantial discussion of how the phylogenetic tree breaks down at the origin of cellular life.

Zachriel said...

Joe quoting Behe: ". I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum."

--
Theory: Flagellum evolved over millions of years in primordial oceans of primitive organisms.

A few notes before we start our experiment:
* Modern bacteria are the result of billions of years of evolution, just like people.
* Primitive organisms that evolved the original flagellas no longer exist.
* A "long time" might be millions of years.
* The number of organisms involved might fill Lake Michigan.

See. Behe really is proposing a falsifiable experiment. No problem. Next, we will evolve a dog into a cat through selective breeding in our backyard.

--
Biologists do not claim to know exactly how the flagellum evolved. However, it is known that life has evolved and diversified over eons of time. The evolution of the flagellum is very ancient, and the evidence is tenuous, at best. There are a number of theories, and scientists have discovered homologous elements in microbiology that point to an evolutionary process.

Behe is making a specific claim: "the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection." This claim is not testable by his strawman experiment. He would have to show that there was no plausible evolutionary pathway in organisms that no longer exist — not merely that we don't know of such a pathway. That's why his assertion is not considered falsifiable. (Plausible scenarios have been proposed, by the way.)

Zachriel said...

My Goodness!!! Joe actually responds about sets!
Why Set Theory is irrelevant when discussing Nested Hierarchy
Of course, that statement is incorrect as the Nested Hierarchy is defined in terms of sets. But let's see the actual argument.

joe g: "With set theory in general anything can be a set."

Generally true. (There is some issues with {all sets}, but that is not at issue here. Our sets may be vast, but finite and well-defined.)

joe g: "For example with Zachriel's paternal family tree I can make a set of {Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Abdul Ilah, Faisal}. A subset would then be {Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Faisal}. It is a valid set and it is a valid subset. However neither make sense in a nested hierarchy."

Actually, as the subset is a proper subset, it would be trivially nested. Perhaps you meant something like this:

A = {Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Abdul Ilah, Faisal}
B = {Faisal, Hashim}
C = {Faisal}

B is not a proper subset of A, so {A, B, C} is not a nested hierarchy.

--

Let's return to the paternal family tree. Now, for each male, construct a set of all their male descendents. You will find that each subset is strictly contained within its superset, and all are contained within the superset of Sharif Hussein bin Ali. The male descendents of Sharif Hussein bin Ali forms a nested hierarchy.

The nested hierarchy is all about sets. If we are clear on this, we can move on to categorization.

Zachriel said...

Well, by repeating his strawman, I think the point has been made that Joe is not interested in an actual discussion.

Alan Fox said...

Joe's reply to a comment of mine,
Joe G said...

A debate in a neutral forum when TWO people are invited implies A) it will be a debate and B) it will be between only the two people invited.

Now all of a sudden it becomes an exchange of ideas.

Alan Fox:
The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive,


True. But if you had meant an exchange of ideas as opposed to a debate perhaps you could have communicated that a little clearer in your invitation.

Alan Fox:
...and a debate where no one learns anything is probably fruitless.


I have learned quite a bit already.

Alan Fox:
Yhe invitation stands. You could just try it. If you don't like it you don't have to stay.


The point is moot as Zachriel now agrees that the theory of evolution does not predict a nested hierarchy. As a response to the challenge in the OP Zachriel stated he will take the 'con' side. Seeing that is the side I have been trumpeting all along the deal is sealed.

Thanks and perhaps next time there will be something real to discuss.

1:39 PM
,

seems to confirm Zachriel's remark: Well, by repeating his strawman, I think the point has been made that Joe is not interested in an actual discussion.

Occam's Aftershave said...

Zachriel, you need to realize that Joe G. is an idiot not worth responding to. I say that after many years of seeing and dealing with his dishonesty and cowardice firsthand.

He was an idiot yesterday, he's an idiot today, and tomorrow's a lock too.

I admire both your patience and your scientific acumen, but it's like a wise man once said:

"Never mud wrestle with a pig. You just get all dirty, and the pig likes it."

blipey said...

Is it wrong to laugh at stupid people? I mean, like in their face?

I'll do it...if he ever shows his face.

How 'bout it, Joe?

Zachriel said...

Hi Alan,

You tried. Thanks.

By the way, would you post a link this discussion on Joe's latest diatribe. I know it looks rather hilarious for Joe to be shadow boxing, but someone might want to know whose shadow it is.

Zachriel

Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zachriel said...

Joe's gone into rewind mode. I note he has referenced me again without allowing me to respond on his blog, or referencing where my response can be found.

joe g: "The last time I posted this Zachriel responded with the following: "If life descended from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern." However we now know that is incorrect. So here it is again."

And yet, not a single one of Joe's arguments address the syllogism. "If life descended (along uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern (of descendent relationships)" is a mathematical truism.

The rest of his argument concerns the detection of such a nested hierarchy and the implications if such a pattern is found. I would be happy to engage this argument if Joe wishes, but it makes no sense to discuss the empirical evidence for this pattern if he doesn't even understand how to recognize it.

On his preceding thread, joe commits his usual conflation. These two statements are not equivalent.

Joe: "Zachriel concedes the point- the theory of evolution does NOT predict a nested hierarchy."

Joe: "Nested Hierarchy is [not] a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

The nested hierarchy of morphology and genomics is an observation AND a prediction. Just as the elliptical orbits of planets is an observation AND a prediction. We observe a pattern, then predict it will continue to apply, perhaps in somewhat different circumstances. We then test these predictions, using the results of this test to modify or even abandon our hypothesis.

Alan Fox said...

Hi Zachriel

Sorry, I am not familiar with linking. There is no option as on my blog. Do you want me to post a comment including the link? No problem to do so, or whatever else is required. You can email me if a simple explanation will be embarrassing for me :)

Alan Fox said...

I have to say Joe Gallien has not disappointed me. But his attitude is so counter-productive for ID (I know, what could be productive, apart from some real research) that he makes our case for us. I don't know if you noticed this earlier comment of mine to blipey:

Alan Fox said...

blipey said...

Maybe I'm not as nice as you are (actually, most definitely not), but I don't hold out much hope for Patrick or any of the ID crowd.

Doesn't stop you banging your head against a brick wall at Joe Gallien's blog. :) I suspect that may be a waste of time, as I can't imagine anyone being persuaded by his displays of ignorance, if the blog actually gets any lurkers, which I doubt. Honestly, blipey, I don't think he is worth the effort. If you and Zachriel were to stop posting there, that would be a more effective response. But what do I know, with my own obsessions?


1:19 PM, December 28, 2006

Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zachriel said...

Alan Fox: "if the blog actually gets any lurkers, which I doubt"

I think he gets a few lurkers as he is always commenting on Uncommon Descent. This has become the thread for rebutting Joe, while AtBC is the thread for rebutting Uncommon Descent.

I understand that Joe is his own worst enemy. I also think that he has pretty well sunk himself for now. My job is done here -- until next time.

Anonymous said...

alan fox: "Sorry, I am not familiar with linking."

You know more than you think you do! Thanks for the link.

(This message will self-destruct momentarily.)

Zachriel said...

Whaddaya know. I can't delete the anonymous comment.

Joe G said...

Zachriel:
The nested hierarchy of morphology and genomics is an observation AND a prediction.

That's just a lie. The theory of evolution doesn't predict metazoans so it can't predict any patterns they might form.

If NH isn't observed among single-celled organisms and that is OK with the ToE then it is obvious that the ToE does NOT predict NH.

Yeah Zachriel, your "job" is done.

To blipey,

I long for the day you laugh in my face...

to OA,

Anytime, anywhere- just show up next time.

Joe G said...

Zachriel:
And yet, not a single one of Joe's arguments address the syllogism. "If life descended (along uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern (of descendent relationships)" is a mathematical truism.

Ummm, I have more than dealt with that bit of nonsense. Ya see with the theory of evolution nothing prevents lines from being crossed, uncrossed and recrossed. Traits can be gained and traits can be lost- only to be regained.

And coming out of the single-celled bush there isn't any way one would expect order- because as I said the theory doesn't predict metazoans in the first place.

Yes the theory can live with NH but that was never the point.

My offer to debate Zachriel on this is still open.

He submits his opening and I will then submit mine.

And this little bit is total BS:

Joe: "Nested Hierarchy is [not] a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

I said:
"Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

I take the con, Zachriel takes the pro. Or at least Zachriel should put his position in writing so we all know what it is. My position hasn't changed since before I started blogging- The theory of evolution does not predict nested hierarchy.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel:The nested hierarchy of morphology and genomics is an observation AND a prediction. Just as the elliptical orbits of planets is an observation AND a prediction. We observe a pattern, then predict it will continue to apply, perhaps in somewhat different circumstances. We then test these predictions, using the results of this test to modify or even abandon our hypothesis.

joe g: "The theory of evolution doesn't predict metazoans so it can't predict any patterns they might form."

It's hard to know exactly what you mean by the phrase "evolution doesn't predict metazoans". If you mean Darwin didn't predict the existence of the Animal Kingdom, that seems to turn the scientific method on its head.

Animals exist. Their morphological characteristics form a nested hierarchy. In fact, we can examine different traits and they also parallel the same nested hierarchy. We also note that fossil animals also fit this nested hierarchy -- in time. Any scientific theory has to be consistent with these basic observations.

Descent and divergence (over uncross lines) inevitably forms a nested hierarchy, and the hypothesis of common descent. And this leads to specific empirical predictions.

joe g: "If NH isn't observed among single-celled organisms and that is OK with the ToE then it is obvious that the ToE does NOT predict NH."

The nested hierarchy of morphology within metazoa is observed. We can extend this observation to make predictions. We can confirm that genomes match this same nested hierarchy. We can predict the existence of new fossil organisms, and what strata they can be found in. We can predict the morphological limitations of new extant species.

However, the nested hierarchy does not apparently apply to the origin of cellular life. That is also an observation. This would imply that naive ideas about common descent are misapplied to the evolution of the original cellular life.

1. joe g: ": "Zachriel concedes the point- the theory of evolution does NOT predict a nested hierarchy."

2. joe g: ": Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

Those two statements are not equivalent. The Theory of Common Descent does not properly apply to the early evolution of cellular life. That does not mean it doesn't apply anywhere. I'm sorry that the history of life is complicated, even messy. But that is the observation.

blipey said...

Joe, still not knowing how to speak or pay attention as well as the average 6 year old:

Zachriel:

And yet, not a single one of Joe's arguments address the syllogism. "If life descended (along uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern (of descendent relationships)" is a mathematical truism.

to which Joe responds:

Ummm, I have more than dealt with that bit of nonsense. Ya see with the theory of evolution nothing prevents lines from being crossed, uncrossed and recrossed. Traits can be gained and traits can be lost- only to be regained.

emphasis mine.

Joe, it doesn't matter what the theory of evolution says or does not say in this instance. Zachriel posed a hypothetical situation, "If life descended...". He did this in order to address the issue of NH.

Your response was to completely ignore this hypothetical situation and spout non-sequiters.

As you have frequently shown, you cannot engage in rational discussion of a point, any point, ever. As most creationists do, you think you can "win" an argument by saying 1,400 different things simultaneously, without actually taking the time to understand any single supporting point.

This is because you do not understand the scientific method or have any grasp of basic logic. A point is not supported from the top down. A point is supported by the small details that form its foundation. You continually confuse the act of making an observation with the process of figuring out why that observation is true.

In this case, the small point that needs to be agreed upon before the discussion can go forward is: "IF life descended from a common ancestor, would a NH be formed?"

That's it. That's the one detail that begins this discussion. You have not answered it in over 6 months. It's just one, tiny question; how 'bout it?

Joe G said...

Zachriel:
We observe a pattern, then predict it will continue to apply, perhaps in somewhat different circumstances.

The pattern in question was first observed in the absence of the theory of evolution. And it was predicted to apply also in the absence of the theory.

As a matter of fact all that the proponents of the ToE did was change the word archetype with common ancestor:

"One would expect a priori that such a complete change of the philosophical bias of classification would result in a radical change of classification, but this was by no means the case. There was hardly and change in method before and after Darwin, except that "archetype" was replaced by the common ancestor."-- Ernst Mayr

That animals exist is irrelevant to the point. And I cannot help it if you are too intellectually immature to deal with that.

blipey, my ONE point has been constant. You guys just can't focus on it because it is the reality that we find ourselves in- that the ToE does not predict nested hierarchy.

Joe G said...

I deal with the rest of Zachriel's nonsense here:

It's flowing

Zachriel:
The Theory of Common Descent does not properly apply to the early evolution of cellular life.

I would need to see some scientific references for that one.

blipey- hypotheticals are nothing but a distraction. That I have avoided such a distraction for 6 months shows I have at least one good quality.

blipey said...

Hypotheticals are what advance knowledge, you dumb shit.

"Hey, I have an idea! I should test it."

"No. Ideas are a waste of time; go look at something we already know."

You're stupider than a rock.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "The pattern in question was first observed in the absence of the theory of evolution."

That is correct, by Linnaeus.

joe g: "And it was predicted to apply also in the absence of the theory."

Can you provide examples of such predictions?

joe g: "You guys just can't focus on it because it is the reality that we find ourselves in- that the ToE does not predict nested hierarchy."

Common Descent (e.g. of vertebrates) is inferred from the *observation* of the nested hierarchy, and then Common Descent (e.g. of vertebraes) predicts new *observations*. These predictions have been extensively validated. The nested hierarchy is widely used in cladistics, field biology, genomics, paleontology, etc. to analyze existing data, to guide research, and to predict new observations.

joe g: "That animals exist is irrelevant to the point."

It had something to do with your point that the Theory of Evolution doesn't predict metazoans. Are you claiming that the Theory of Evolution is not consistent with the observation that animals exist?

Zachriel said...

Joe quotes EvoWiki: "The theory of common descent states that all species (on Earth, at least) share common ancestors, back to a single common ancestor of all life. This is a fairly profound notion."

Of course, the Theory of Common Descent has undergone some revision over the last decade. And if you Joe had just clicked on common ancestor of all life of his own cite, he would have discovered that "The Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA), is a hypothetical organism supposed to be the most recent common ancestor of all living organisms on Earth. The existence of such a life-form has come into doubt as mounting scientific evidence points to a picture of a primordial community of organisms exchanging hereditary information. It is also believed that multiple endosymbiotic events would distort the cladistic representation of such an organism if it were to ever have existed."

The origin of cellular life is very ancient and left few traces. While common descent for many taxa is strongly supported, untangling the exact sequence of events leading up to the origin of cellular life is still shrouded by the intervening eons of time.

Alan Fox said...

Hi Joe.

Alan Fox said...

Hi blipey

Please try to remain civil. In my opinion, an argument is not improved by gros mots.

Alan Fox said...

Blipey, sorry. I just re-read my previous post, and it does sound a bit pompous, but you get my drift, I hope.

blipey said...

Alan,

My apologies. Since Joe is impervious to actual discussion, I thought I'd kick him in the balls. Not because I thought it would help, but because it made me feel better momentarily.

And you aren't pompous because you have a good vocabulary...you're a liberal, intellectual elitist with church-burning tendancies who would as soon eat a small baby as watch a union rugby match, and you'd probably vote for Hitler.

I have that on good auhority. :)

Zachriel said...

Joe g complains of Alan's less than cordial invitation in a thread titled When the shit flows it flows freely.

Now, that's funny. The way it flows has pertinence to the following discussion.


Joe g quotes Denton: "Yet, direct evidence for evolution only resides in the existence of unambiguous sequential arrangements, and these are never present in ordered hierarchic schemes."

Let's start with the second clause of Denton's statement, that "sequential arrangements ... are never present in ordered hierarchical schemes". (The conjunctive clauses are independent.)

There is no reason why a line-of-descent can't be sequential and still be part of a nested hierarchy. Indeed, we expect some lines to die out completely, while other may multiply. Taking another look at the paternal family tree as an example. Faisal fathers Ghazi fathers Faisal II. The sets built on male descendancy would be as follows:

Faisal = {Ghazi, Faisal II}
Ghazi = {Faisal II}
Faisal II = empty set

Each set is a proper subset of the set above it in the hierarchy. According to our agreed definition, Faisal is a trivial example of a nested hierarchy. We also know that a paternal family tree often diverges over time. Importantly, the fact that this particular descendant line leads to extinction does not change the fact that Faisal is part of the non-trivial nested hierarchy rooted in Sharif Hussein bin Ali which diverges considerably, some lines continuing, others dying out.

Or a top-heavy bureaucracy. One top boss, one assistant boss, one worker. This is another trivial example, but it is certainly an "ordered hierarchical scheme". Just ask the solitary worker. It only flows one way.

But we aren't interested in these trivial cases, but those cases that diverge over time (even if some lines may wither and die). Though Denton is incorrect that a sequential arrangement cannot exist within a non-trivial nested hierarchy, if it could be shown that divergence is not possible, then the Theory of Common Descent would be falsified.

So now let us consider the empirical question in Denton's first clause, "direct evidence for evolution only resides in the existence of unambiguous sequential arrangements". As speciation, the process of reproductive isolation in populations, often takes long periods of time, we normally can't just watch it happen. But, in fact, there are a wide variety of observations that support an assertion of on-going speciation. First, and foremost, the nested hierarchy of organic forms which provides the historical basis for common descent over geological timescales. And then, Darwin himself marshaled evidence from the existing relationships between extant species, proposing testable models of both allopatry and sympatry. Modern science has greatly extended our knowledge of this aspect of evolution.

I would be happy to discuss the specifics of speciation, but only once we are sure we are clear up to this point. I believe you understand that descent and divergence (over uncrossed lines) inevitably forms a non-trivial nested hierarchy.

Alan Fox said...

Thanks for the link, Zachriel. Snappy title, Joe.:)

Joe writes:

My offer to debate Zachriel on this is still open.

He submits his opening and I will then submit mine.

And this little bit is total BS:

Joe: "Nested Hierarchy is [not] a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

I said:
"Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms"

is duly noted.

I take the con, Zachriel takes the pro. Or at least Zachriel should put his position in writing so we all know what it is. My position hasn't changed since before I started blogging- The theory of evolution does not predict nested hierarchy.


So, do Zachriel and Joe both want to attempt a dialogue? Say, two threads, an opening post and title from each of you, comments limited to both of you on both threads. No moderation, other than avoidance of obscenity and incitement to commit crime. I am happy to host the format, or any other mutually agreed format that you would prefer.

Posted here and here

Zachriel said...

Sorry, I should have bleeped the thread title. By the by, Joe lost your comment over at his blog.

Joe said: "Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms".

I would have to take the *con*. The Nested Hierarchy does not apply to "ALL living organisms." It is observed primarily in eukaryotes, and even then, there are substantial exceptions, e.g. Plants are notorious hybridizers, though the nested hierarchy can still be discerned, bacteria exchange and absorb genes freely, viruses infect genomes, etc.

Zachriel said...

Perhaps if we were to limit the domain of the assertion of common descent to land vertebrates, or mammals, where the evidence is most direct. Then once completing this discussion, we could discuss the evolutionary history of metazoa or even eukaryotes. Baby steps.

I am making the assumption that Joe understands and accepts that a paternal family tree forms a nested hierarchy, as do the twigs on a tree, or descent along uncrossed lines. This is my argument, in order:

Sets
Nested hierarchy
Categorization
Taxonomy
Common Descent (land vertebrates, metazoans, eukaryotes, exceptions)
Mechanisms of evolution
Theory of Evolution

There is no point proceeding with any step until the preceding steps have been resolved, as each step builds on the previous.

Joe G said...

OK wait- we have Zachriel, the non-authority, non-expert, and non-scientist saying:

"If life descended (along uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form a nested hierarchy pattern (of descendent relationships)" is a mathematical truism.

And we have Dr Denton, authority, expert and scientist saying:

"Yet, direct evidence for evolution only resides in the existence of unambiguous sequential arrangements, and these are never present in ordered hierarchic schemes."

IOW If life descended (along uncrossed lines) from a common ancestor, it would form an unambiguous sequential arrangement, which are never present in ordered hierarchic schemes.

100,99,98,97,96...1- descent with modification along uncrossed lines and no nested hierarchy...



To summarize:

Nested hierarchy has nothing to do with the theory of evolution nor Common Descent. That it is observed is neither a positive nor a negative for either as both would be perfectly OK without it.

IOW if we were to populate a habitable planet with single-celled organisms we wouldn't expect the subsequent diversity to resemble a nested hierarchy. And if NH was a prediction of the ToE or CD then we would expect NH and if we never observed NH that would count against the theory.

And it is abundantly clear that neither Zachriel nor Alan Fox can grasp any of the concepts I have presented.

Joe G said...

ZAchriel:
I am making the assumption that Joe understands and accepts that a paternal family tree forms a nested hierarchy, as do the twigs on a tree, or descent along uncrossed lines.

Don't make that assumption. Paternal family trees do NOT form a nested hierarchy, and neither do twigs on a tree.

And if you can't understand that basic fact then there is no use discussing this any further.

Neither one of Zachriel's examples follows the principles of hierarchy theory.

That would be a starting point- that Zachriel actually understands those principles.

Joe G said...

Joe said: "Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms".

Zachriel:
I would have to take the *con*. The Nested Hierarchy does not apply to "ALL living organisms." It is observed primarily in eukaryotes, and even then, there are substantial exceptions, e.g. Plants are notorious hybridizers, though the nested hierarchy can still be discerned, bacteria exchange and absorb genes freely, viruses infect genomes, etc.

What is wrong with you? Either NH apllies to all of life or it doesn't apply at all- that is if it were a prediction of the theory.

IOW it is obvious that you don't know what you are talking about.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "Nested hierarchy has nothing to do with the theory of evolution nor Common Descent."'

That is incorrect. The nested hierarchy has been considered important evidence of common descent since Darwin. Entire scientific journals on evolution are dedicated to the study of this pattern. Whether you agree that the evidence is convincing or not is irrelevant to it being a component of the evidence for the Theory of Common Descent.

I would be happy to provide you cites.

joe g: "IOW if we were to populate a habitable planet with single-celled organisms we wouldn't expect the subsequent diversity to resemble a nested hierarchy."

Assuming the single-celled organisms have limited trading of genes, then that is exactly the pattern we would expect. And the exact pattern that can be *directly* observed. You would call this microevolution, but a nested hierarchy is exactly the pattern produced through mutation and inheritance. (Natural selection is generally irrelevant to this assertion.)

Joe G said...

Joe said: "Nested Hierarchy is a prediction of the theory of evolution- pro & con- that would include ALL living organisms".

Zachriel:
I would have to take the *con*. The Nested Hierarchy does not apply to "ALL living organisms." It is observed primarily in eukaryotes, and even then, there are substantial exceptions, e.g. Plants are notorious hybridizers, though the nested hierarchy can still be discerned, bacteria exchange and absorb genes freely, viruses infect genomes, etc.

The problem with what Zachriel stated is that IF nested hierarchy was a prediction of the theory it would be observed through-n-through. That it is observed in certain scenarios pertaining to living organisms is meaningless to the theory of evolution.

IOW Alan it appears that we do not have anything to discuss.

Joe G said...

joe g: "Nested hierarchy has nothing to do with the theory of evolution nor Common Descent."'

Zachriel:
That is incorrect.

Umm it is very correct for the many reasons I already provided. And also for the reasons YOU provided.

Zachriel:
The nested hierarchy has been considered important evidence of common descent since Darwin.

Only by the people who don't know any better.

Ya see with Common Descent lines can be crossed because traits can be gained and lost. IOW one population can give rise to a population with the same traits as a population that preceded its parents.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "The problem with what Zachriel stated is that IF nested hierarchy was a prediction of the theory it would be observed through-n-through."

That's called a strawman. Just because the Theory of Gravity fails in a singularity or with regards to quantum phenomena doesn't mean the Theory of Gravity is simply discarded. Instead, the theory is revised by limiting its domain, though extensions of the domain may be attempted. For instance, the Theory of Evolution applies only to living organisms, not to abiogenesis. The Theory of Common Descent applies only to eukaryotes, and even then with exceptions. It certainly applies to terrestrial vertebrates.

joe g: "Nested hierarchy has nothing to do with the theory of evolution nor Common Descent."

The Theory of Evolution is something posited by the vast majority of biologists to explain the pattern of life on earth, and they point to the nested hierarchy for evidence. Whether you agree with them or not is irrelevant to it being a part of the theory they have proposed.

joe g: "Ya see with Common Descent lines can be crossed because traits can be gained and lost."

That's irrelevant to your assertion which concerned only what was considered evidence within the evolutionary paradigm.
You made a false claim, and it needs to be retracted or revised.

Zachriel said...

"If germs were a prediction of Germ Theory it would be observed in every type of disease."

Germ theory posits that microorganisms are the cause of disease, but it turns out, only some diseases. Other diseases are caused by vitamin deficiencies, genetic mutations, or simple aging.

Alan Fox said...

Cross-posted to Joe's blog

Hi Joe

Just to clear up any misunderstanding, it is Zachriel who thinks an exchange with you would be useful. As I have indicated at ARN and elsewhere, I do not share his view. I doubt there is anything I could teach you nor could I learn anything from you. This was immediately obvious to me after a previous foray on your blog a while ago.

But if you and Zachriel want to use a thread or threads on my blog as a neutral venue, you are both welcome. You may even shatter my preconceptions.

blipey said...

Try this one, Joe. Since you have trouble admitting that practically anything in the universe might be a NH, draw one for us.

Tell us how one might be constructed, and then actually draw one for us. Zachriel has given us his example. Time for you to show us what a NH looks like.

thanx,

blipey

Zachriel said...

joe g: "The main reason why nested hierarchy is not evidence for the theory of evolution nor Common Descent is that neither would be phased if it wasn't observed."

Assuming you mean "fazed", that is incorrect. A substantial portion of Darwin's argument concerns the nested hierarchy. Darwin did not assert that all life had a single common ancestor, but "a few forms or into one". He knew the evidence at the root of the phylogenetic tree was scant, so avoided making any definitive statement in that regard.

joe g: "That is obvious because nested hierarchy is not observed throughout the diversity of living organisms on this planet."

I already responded to this. Specific empirical predictions can be derived from the Theory of Common Descent.

Denton: "Cladism takes no account at all of any evolutionary claim regarding the genealogy or derivation of any particular species or group."

Denton is simply wrong. Cladistics is a branch of evolutionary biology.

Merriam Webster: cladistics, a system of biological taxonomy that defines taxa uniquely by shared characteristics not found in ancestral groups and uses inferred evolutionary relationships to arrange taxa in a branching hierarchy such that all members of a given taxon have the same ancestors.

Britannica: The critical feature in cladistics is the identification of derived shared traits, called synapomorphic traits. A synapomorphic trait is shared by some taxa but not others because the former inherited it from a common ancestor that acquired the trait after its lineage separated from the lineages going to the other taxa.

Wikipedia: Cladistics is a branch of biology that determines the evolutionary relationships between organisms based on derived similarities.

UC Berkeley: Introduction to Cladistics, Phylogenetic systematics is the formal name for the field within biology that reconstructs evolutionary history and studies the patterns of relationships among organisms. Look at the generic cladogram on the UC Berkeley site. It's a nested hierarchy, a tree diagram.

joe g: "With the ToE and Common Descent a transfer of traits is possible between branches."

Most organisms cannot trade traits. In fact, reproductive isolation is a common definition of species. This is also an important area of Darwin's argument from 1859. You really need to keep up. Can you explain Darwin's argument in this regard?


Now that you know that Denton is not reliable, I'm sure you will abandon this line of argument.

blipey said...

Now that you know that Denton is not reliable, I'm sure you will abandon this line of argument.

You would think, but who are you gonna believe? Britanica, Websters, Eggs at Berkeley, and the entire scientific community? Or a guy with the really cool name, Denton?

I think the answer is obvious.

On a more serious note, I was not being facetious, Joe. I think it would be really helpful for all involved if we saw an example of what you believe a NH to be.

You don't even have to explain it; in fact, it might be better if you don't. Just present the drawing, or flow chart, or whatever, of what a NH is. No talking, no words, just a picture.

Zachriel said...

joe g: "And finally the only way that nested hierarchy could be used as evidence for either the ToE or Common Descent is if and only if, it was observed in the diversity of living organisms and there alone. However we know that is not true."

This doesn't even begin to make sense. I note you haven't bothered to respond to the arguments presented.

joe g: "Now I am sure that bit will be lost on Alan, Zachriel and their ilk. But that is to be expected. It is a prediction that follows from their condition. And what may that condition be? ..."

Joe has given up any pretense at being able to argue his point.

Zachriel said...

Joe's Preventive Maintenance & Global Warming: Reversing the trend

Joe G: "6H2O + 6CO2 ----------> C6H12O6 + 6O2"

It's called a farm.

Joe g: "Then sell the sugar..."

Let them eat cake. (Add carbon sequestration to the list of things Joe knows nothing about.)

Zachriel said...

Joe (in rewind mode): Reality demonstrates...

(Those two words seem to be superfluous.)

... the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question."

And what have you discovered concerning the purported designer? What specific empirical predictions can you make? I have my magnifying glass and notepad at the ready.

blipey said...

I have discovered 3 things about the designer:

1. (S)He's mysterious

2. (S)He's has a quick first step and great break-away speed

3. (S)He gets talked about a lot behind her/his back.

xronartestx said...

Alan Fox is a RACSIsT!!!!!!!!!